TRAP DOOR THEATRE presents the Chicago premiere of…



Written by Roland Schimmelpfennig

Translated by David Tushingham

Directed by Elly Green

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Thursday, May 14, 2015 - Saturday, June 13, 2015

Previews: Tuesday, May 12 & Wednesday, May 13 2015 at 8:00PM; $5 donation

Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays at 8 pm and Sundays at 7pm

$20 on Thursdays, Fridays & Sundays; $25 on Saturdays

Special 2-for-1 Admission on Fridays

$25 on Sunday, May 31st for talkback with director Elly Green with wine and cheese reception to follow! 

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[Director Elly Green] nails the volatile love triangle at the play’s center, maintaining a precise balance between deadpan absurdity and psychological terror. – Justin Hayford, Chicago Reader

Kudos of the highest degree must be given for every aspect of this production. Trap Door’s solid ensemble work makes it difficult to single out any member of the cast for particular praise; they each play an equal role in bringing this monster story to life. … Director Elly Green has truly worked magic to bring all of these elements together to create a piece that crawls under your skin and into the darkest depths of your mind. – Sean Kelley, New City Stage

Cast: Kirk Anderson, Shawna Franks, Adam Marcantoni, Loretta Rezos & Leslie Ruettiger


“You swore that you’d love me forever”

Frank doesn’t recognize his teenage sweetheart, Romy, when she turns up at his door 24 years later. She’s come to remind him of a promise he made. Meanwhile, Frank’s son is making a similar promise to his teenage girlfriend. When an accident forces Frank to take Romy into his home, the cracks in Frank’s marriage begin to widen and events take a startling turn. Playing with time and perception, Schimmelpfennig’s The Woman Before is a tense, darkly humorous study of obsession, desire and the enduring power of first love.


This production is partially sponsored by the Goethe-Institut of Chicago
The Goethe-Institut is the cultural institute of the Federal Republic of Germany with a global reach. They promote knowledge of the German language abroad, foster international cultural cooperation and convey a comprehensive picture of Germany by providing information on Germany’s cultural, social and political life.  




Roland Schimmelpfenning (Playwright) is one of the most produced European playwrights. His plays have been translated into over 20 languages and he made his US debut in 2007 with Arabian Nights, his play produced by NYC’s Play Company. He first worked as a freelance journalist and author in Istanbul before studying as a theatre director in Munich’s Otto Falkenberg School in 1990. He then became an assistant director and later a member of the artistic team at Munich’s Kammerspiele. Roland Schimmelpfennig was then engaged as dramaturg and author at the Berlin Schaubühne for the 1999/2000 season and was resident playwright at the Deutsches Schauspielhaus in Hamburg. In 2010, Schimmelpfennig was awarded the Mühlheimer Dramatists Award for his play The Golden Dragon. The play premiered at the Burgtheater Vienna last season and has since received more than 20 productions worldwide. He just finished a commission for the Tokyo National Theater and the Burgtheater in Vienna. Schimmelpfennig is the recipient of the highest Playwriting Award in Germany, the Else-Lasker-Schüler-Prize, to honor his entire Oeuvre.

Elly Green (Director) is a British theatre director with an MFA in Theatre Directing from Birkbeck College, University of London. The Woman Before is her first show with Trap Door Theatre. She is currently working on Sideshow Theatre’s ‘The Freshness Initiative’, and recently finished workshops for Stage Left’s writer residency of Heartland by Gabriel Jason Dean. Directing credits include: Happy (Redtwist Theatre), Unwilling and Hostile Instruments (Theatre Seven), Everythingaoke (Livewire), Rabbit (Stage Left Theatre – Jeff Nominated, Best Director), The Tomkat Project (Playground Theatre, The Players Theatre, NY Fringe and iO West Theater, LA). Elly was assistant-director on Henry V (Chicago Shakespeare Theatre) and Proof (Court Theatre). UK directing credits include: Our Country’s Good (Royal and Derngate), My Balloon Beats Your Astronaut (Tristan Bates Theatre), About Tommy (Southwark Playhouse), Copenhagen (Tabard Theatre), Skylight (Stephen Joseph Theatre), The Beach (Theatre 503) and The Zoo Story (Etcetera). She spent a year at the Royal National Theatre as a staff-director, assisting on Oedipus, Her Naked Skin and Mrs Affleck. She has directed several productions for educational institutions including: The Coast of Utopia, Beyond Therapy, Pillars of the Community, Summerfolk & Three Sisters. Elly is currently a reader for Steppenwolf Theatre and was formerly a senior reader at The Royal Court Theatre, London.

Stage Manager Meg Eaton / Set Designer Joe Schermoly / Lighting Designer Richard Norwood / Costume Designer Rachel Sypniewski / Sound Designer Aaron Stephenson / Makeup Designer Zsófia Ötvös / Fight Director Matt Hawkins / Assistant Director Meghan Lewis / Dramaturg Milan Pribisic / Graphic Designer Michal Janicki /


To help celebrate Trap Door Theatre’s 21st Anniversary, Jane’s Restaurant is offering a complimentary glass of wine with purchase of your entree! Just show your ticket to your server and enjoy! Jane’s is located in the front of the Trap Door building at 1655 W. Cortland Ave.

 Janes is now offering a special menu to our patrons for only $30! Click here for more info!


Thank you 

to all our supporters who’ve contributed to our new heating/AC system! 


We still need your help to raise 


We’d like to keep our patrons cool during the summer while we continue to bring you some of the hottest theatre in town! 

All donations are tax deductible.

 If you are able to support us in this very important request please send a check to:

Trap Door Theatre 1655 West Cortland Ave. Chicago, IL 60622 773-384-0494

Or make a donation online by following this link.

Thank you!


Can’t make it to the show but want to support the theatre anyway? Leave your legacy behind! With your donation of $100, your name will be engraved on the seat of your choice at the Trap Door Theatre and reserved for you when you attend a show!

Donations can be mailed to:

Trap Door Theatre

1655 West Cortland Ave.

Chicago, IL 60622



 Time Out Chicago

Recognizes Trap Door as one of the best storefront theatres in the city!

 Trap Door Productions presents its first


Time Out Chicago recognizes Trap Door as one of the best storefront theatres in the city!

Congratulations to Trap Door's Kevin Cox, Rachel Sypniewski, and Danny Rockett for their recent Jeff Award Nominations for their work in La Bete and Cookie Play!

Trap Door Theatre welcomes new company member Casey Chapman!

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